After Russian defence minister slammed Nato, its foreign ministry calls bloc ‘useless’
Moscow, July 12: While the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) were struggling to contain US President Donald Trump at its two-day summit in Brussels starting Wednesday, June 11, Russia's foreign ministry dismissed the western military alliance as "useless", the Moscow Times, with additional inputs from Reuters, reported.
In Brussels, the Nato however took a different position over Russia, raising concern over its "provocative military activities", including the deployment of missiles in its westernmost region, the report added.
"Russia's recent activities and policies have reduced stability and security, increased unpredictability, and changed the security environment," the reported sited the military bloc saying in a public statement.
Russia found itself amid a major diplomatic fallout with the West led by the UK in the recent past over its alleged poisoning of one of its former spies along with his daughter in the English city of Salisbury.
Russia, however, tried to downplay the Nato's concern as its foreign ministry said on Twitter that they would be focussing more the ongoing Fifa World Cup instead of the western bloc's allegations.
"While the useless #NATO military bloc accuses us of provocative activities and continues to grind its teeth in Brussels, we're getting ready to watch #WC2018," the ministry tweeted.
Russia is hosting the 21st edition of the Fifa World Cup this year and the hosts lost to Croatia in the penalty shootouts in the quarterfinals. Croatia will take on France in the final of the tournament in Moscow on July 15. Both finalists are members of the Nato. Croatia joined the alliance in 2009.
A day ago, Russian defence minister said Nato came too close to Russian border
On Wednesday, July 11, Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a newspaper interview that US and the Nato had placed their bases very close to the Russian border.
"I have long wanted to give American colleagues a globe so they can look at it and explain why the declared 'enemies of America,' are located in the Middle East and the Far East and all their military bases and forces are snuggled up to Russian borders," Sergei Shoigu was quoted as saying in the interview with Italy's Il Giornale newspaper.
Shoigu seemed to be referring to the US missile defence shield, which according to the latter, is aimed at neutralising attacks from Iran. Parts of the system are located near Russia's western borders.
Shoigu also complained that the Nato has expanded its base eastwards to the Russian borders despite the promises made to the former Soviet leadership during the time of German reunification that it would not be done.